Discover Flosstradamus

All the way up to August 6-8, we will be featuring reviews and previews for artists playing Lollapalooza 2010. Not only that, we’ve enlisted Lolla-loving blogs, many which you guys picked out yourself, to help us out. Today’s feature on Flosstradamus comes from Gaper’s Block: Transmission. When it comes to hometown heroes and proving that the Midwest is the best bet, Flosstradamus is one of the strongest examples for Chicago. The DJ duo of Autobot (Curt Cameruci) and J2K (Josh Young) first popped up on the Chicago music radar in 2005, when the duo formed and hosted the “Get Outta’ the Hood” parties at local joint Town Hall Pub. The event was a huge success, a no frills affair where the one guarantee was the night would end in a massive dance party. The Town Hall Pub days might be long gone, but Flosstradamus has kept Chicago moving with their FlosstraPROMus, a yearly event, and the long running Oldies Night that just wrapped up after two successful years. Besides throwing party after party, the duo found time to tour all over the globe with the likes of Chromeo and Kid Sister (J2K’s sister), release a slew of mixtapes and singles, and play massive festivals including Coachella, South by Southwest, Pitchfork Festival, and Lollapalooza, where they’ll return to the stage this year to keep Grant Park moving Lolla 2010 weekend. Despite logging long hours on the road, Flosstradamus are hometown boys at heart. Chances are you can find them behind the decks somewhere within the city limits. A typical show is a packed dance floor, sticky from jostled drinks, a thumping bass beat, and the heat of a usually at capacity room moving in time. Chicago is a city that loves to party until the lights come up, whether it be hip-hop, house, juke, soul or a mix of anything (and everything) else, and Flosstradamus’s set usually contains all of these aspects. As J2K told Gapers Block in a 2007 interview, their performance has “a lot to do with family and where we came from.” J2K stated “we didn’t have much, but my parents were really into music,” and that “we play stuff that our families has around the house,” which included a mix of ’80s funk, bluegrass, ’90s rap and R&B, and metal. As any music fan knows, a steady diet of an eclectic mix of genres and sound is the perfect recipe for a good DJ set, so given their background it’s no surprise the success of Flosstradamus.

I first heard of Flosstradamus when I moved to Chicago to attend college. They went to the same school as I did, so their sets around campus and at local parties were pretty common. I was spoiled in a way, having the pleasure of seeing Flosstradamus multiple times, like a resident DJ to my college year soundtrack. So clearly I’ve got a soft spot for the boys and beam like a proud parent when I see them on television. Same goes for Kid Sister, another alumni of my college, the Chicago music scene, and the Lollapalooza stage as well. Chicago sticks together, and whether you personally know the bands are just recognize each other from numerous last calls at local clubs, everyone feels like a family in a way. I’ve seen Flosstradamus at my local bar, even been to their garage sale, and have some friends in common. This is the nature of the beast here, where the degrees of separation in the Chicago music give the six degrees of Kevin Bacon a run for its money. Whether Flosstradamus mans the booth at Burlington or headline a huge festival stage, they’ll always be one of my Chicago acts, because if the Chicago music scene is one thing for sure, it’s fiercely allegiant to the locals. The last time I caught Flosstradamus was their yearly prom this past February, and it was familiar yet fresh as always. The remixes might be different, a new sample or two might pop up, but overall I know what to expect. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a perfect mantra to follow when it comes to building a following, and Flosstradamus has done just that. I know they’ll pull out some classic and hidden tracks that will me make me nostalgic, show me something new, and make sure that I work up a sweat and curse my aching feet the next day. And always leave the dance floor with a smile on my face. They’re the perfect Chicago soundtrack to a quintessential Chicago night. Written by Lisa White. Photo courtesy of Clayton Hauck.